Manuscripts

Horace Kornegay Papers

1941-ca. 1990s [bulk February-May 1945]. 1 box (37 folders), 94 items.MSS. COLL. #203

NOTE: The numbers cited in parentheses, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series#:Folder# in which that name/topic will be found.

INTRODUCTION

This collection contains correspondence, clippings, and ephemera collected by Horace Kornegay (1924-2009), a long-time resident of Greensboro who served in the U.S. Army during World War II, won four terms to the U.S. House of Representatives during the 1960s, and then held several leadership positions in a powerful tobacco trade group. Written by family and friends to Kornegay during his service overseas, the letters that make up the majority of this collection are often personal and sentimental but do offer general depictions of life on the American home front and in particular at the local Woman’s College during the World War II.

Arrangement: This collection is organized into three series and arranged within by sender and date. The series are: Correspondence, 1941-1945; Printed Materials, 1944-1945; and Miscellaneous, 1943-ca. 1990s.

Provenance: This collection was donated by Horace Kornegay and assigned accession number 2009.25.1.

Processing: This collection was organized and the finding aid was prepared by intern Travis Souther in July 2014.


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Horace Robinson Kornegay was born in Asheville, North Carolina, on March 12, 1924, and graduated from Greensboro High School (later Grimsley) in 1941. Initially attending Wake Forest College (later Wake Forest University), he withdrew during his sophomore year and enlisted in the United States Army on December 14, 1942. He took Air Corps basic training in Miami Beach, Florida, and specialized mechanical engineering training at the Georgia School of Technology (Georgia Tech), where he remained until March 1944.

Kornegay was then assigned to Company D, 397th Regiment of the 100th Infantry Division and as a member of this heavy weapons company was trained to man a Browning .30 caliber machine gun. During his training, he was one of the first infantry soldiers to qualify for the prestigious Expert Infantry Badge. He saw active combat in the Vosges Mountains in the French province of Alsace and was wounded by shrapnel on November 12, 1944. Returning to combat three weeks later, Kornegay took part in the Battle of the Bulge as a Military Policeman (MP), serving with distinction and earning the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Combat Infantrymen’s Badge.

After the war, Kornegay returned to Wake Forest College, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1947 and a LL.B in 1949. He was admitted to the bar that same year and established his law offices on the fifth floor of the Banner Building in downtown Greensboro. Serving as assistant district solicitor (district attorney) for North Carolina’s 12th District from 1951 to 1953, Kornegay was twice elected to the position of full district solicitor in 1954 and 1958. He represented North Carolina’s 6th District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969 and was selected to be a delegate at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

Following his time in Congress, Kornegay held several leadership positions with the Tobacco Institute, Inc., a lobbyist group that pushed back against increased taxes and regulations on the tobacco industry. His roles included vice president and counsel (1969-1970), president (1970-1981), and chairman (1982-1986). In 1986, he was noted for his resistance to the Surgeon General’s suggestion for a nationwide ban on cigarette advertising. In January 1987, Kornegay retired from the Tobacco Institute and joined the law practice of Adams, Kleemeier, Hagan, Hannah, and Fouts in Greensboro.

Kornegay married Annie Ben Beale (1928-2004), on March 25, 1950, at West Market Street Methodist Church, and the couple had three children: Horace Kornegay Jr., Kathy Kornegay Cozort and Martha Kornegay Howard. He served on the Board of Visitors for the Wake Forest Law School for 17 years, served as president of the Greensboro Bar Association from 1992 to 1993, and was a member of the Preddy Memorial Foundation Board from 1994 until his death in 2009. A resident of Greensboro for the majority of his life, he was a member of the Greensboro Rotary Club, the 100 Club of Greensboro and West Market Street (United) Methodist Church. Additional notable honors included Eagle Scout and the rank of 32nd Degree Mason.

Biographical Sources: The sources used to compile this biographical note include Annie Ben Beale Kornegay’s obituary (News & Record, January 7, 2004), Horace Kornegay’s obituary (News & Record, January 22, 2009), an account of Kornegay’s military service published in Freedom’s Heroes and available on the Preddy Memorial Foundation website, the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, and the transcript of an oral history interview conducted by staff in Jackson Library at the University North Carolina at Greensboro. See the first folder of the collection for copies of some of these items and the Appendix for full citations.


SCOPE & CONTENT NOTE

The Horace Kornegay Papers consist largely of correspondence from family and friends dating from February to May 1945 and highlighting everyday occurrences in multiple locations on the American home front. Additionally, this collection contains newspaper clippings that detail Kornegay’s actions and awards, as well as life away from the front lines. Finally, it houses several miscellaneous items that Kornegay acquired during his time overseas.

This collection contains no materials documenting Kornegay’s life before or after his military service. Its strength lies in describing day-to-day events far removed from the conflict raging in Europe. The majority of the letters are of a personal or familial nature, and details describing life in Greensboro during the war years are limited. While the collection does contain two letters that Kornegay wrote about his time abroad (1:11), it is mostly made up of letters sent to him and as a result generally lacks his perspective on his experiences.


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

1. Correspondence. 35 folders (84 items). 1941, 1944-1945.

This series consists primarily of correspondence written to Horace Kornegay during his service overseas. While most envelopes are addressed with his full name and rank, many letters open with his nickname, “Dagwood” or “Dag.” Several letters detail events at various colleges, including the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (later UNC-Greensboro), Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (later Randolph College), Sullins College and Newberry College. The earliest letter was actually written by Kornegay in 1941 and enclosed in a letter sent to him while overseas (1:32).

The majority of information relating to Greensboro focuses on the activities of West Market Street Methodist Church (1:7, 1:15) and the Woman’s College. Of note are Eleanor Roosevelt’s visit to Bennett College (1:21), the May Day celebrations at Woman’s College (1:18), student dormitory elections at Woman’s College (1:31), and a curious reference to the “transportation situation,” which is assumed to be the rationing of resources needed for the war effort (1:31). Another occurrence of some interest is when six female students from Woman’s College sought dates for a dance from soldiers at the local Overseas Replacement Depot (1:33).

Most of the correspondence is of a personal nature. A letter that Kornegay himself wrote describes his experiences as his troop transport crossed the Atlantic Ocean (1:11). His family and friends often write of wanting to send gifts such as candy, film, ink, and baked goods to him while he is overseas (1:7, 1:15). Other writers send news of friends and loved ones who have been injured or perished during the conflict (1:15, 1:31-34).

Several national events that are mentioned include the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1:9), V-E day (1:10), and the death of Ernie Pyle (1:18). Roosevelt’s passing has a profound effect upon the writers (1:32). While V-E day celebrations are mentioned, little detail is provided about celebratory activities other than attending church services (1:15, 1:18). In explanation, it should be noted that May 8, 1945, was a Sunday and that V-E Day did not signal final Allied victory, as Japan would not surrender for another four months.

2. Printed Materials. 1 folder (7 items). 1944-1945.

The printed materials include several newspaper clippings, a copy of a local newsletter, and pages removed from a newspaper with the short story “The Heroes.” The clippings detail Kornegay’s actions, mention an award that he was given, and recount several anecdotes from at home and abroad. Two clippings come from the Greensboro Daily News and one from the Greensboro Record. An issue of a local newsletter, “Quotes and Quips,” focuses on events in Greensboro, including activities at the various schools, the weather, sports, and news about local servicemen overseas. This newsletter also mentions that Horace Kornegay’s older brother Ryan has completed his tour of duty with the Army Air Corps and is on his way home.

3. Miscellaneous. 1 folder (3 items). 1943-ca. 1990s.

This series contains only three items. A mounted black and white photograph from the 1940s inset with a small color photograph from the 1990s shows Horace Kornegay in his military uniform. The cardstock on which these photographs are mounted details Kornegay’s dates of service, unit, and the various medals and awards that he received. Also included is a black and white picture of a scene from a silent German movie and what is thought to be an armband used for troop identification.


FOLDER LISTING

SeriesFolderContents 
11Correspondence-- Aindt, Glen (1945, April 21)
2-- Bradz, James M. (1945, March 27)
3-- Cheeson, Nancy Peacock (1945, March 14)
4-- Davidson, Beverly (1945, April 6)
5Correspondence-- Godfrey, H.G. (1945, April 1)
6-- Kane, Harry (1945, May 8)
7-- Kornegay, Blanche (1944, November 30 - 1945, February 21)
8-- Kornegay, Blanche (1945, March 3-21)
9Correspondence-- Kornegay, Blanche (1945, April 1-29)
10-- Kornegay, Blanche (1945, May 6-20)
11-- Kornegay, Horace (1944, October 6 - 1945, April 28)
12-- Kornegay, Marvin Earle (1945, March 3)
13Correspondence-- Kornegay, Marvin Loftin "Pat" (1945, March 25 - May 20)
14-- Kornegay, Mary Jane (1945, January 2-27)
15-- Kornegay, Ryan G. (1945, March 28)
16-- Kornegay, Sarah (1945, April 11 - May 16)
17Correspondence-- Manget, Henrietta (1944, November 29 - 1945, March 24)
18-- Manget, Henrietta (1945, April 12 - May 21)
19-- Manget, Paul (1945, January 2)
20-- McNairy, Clark W. (1944, Dec. 10)
21Correspondence-- Page, Dianne (1945, February 20 - May 21)
22-- Person, John W. (1945, April 22)
23-- Quinn, Kathryn (1945, May 8)
24-- Quinn, Myrtle Kornegay (1945, May 9)
25Correspondence-- Robinson, Addie (1945, March 26)
26-- Segars, Katherine (1945, April 28)
27-- Segars, Katherine McDonald (1945, April 24)
28-- Segars, Mac (1945, April 16 - May 24)
29Correspondence-- Sherry, G. (1945, June 18)
30-- Sholar, Armida (1945, February 22 - March 30)
31-- Webb, "Bootsie" (1945, February 28 - March 29)
32-- Webb, "Bootsie" (1945, April 1 - May 30)
33Correspondence-- Wilkerson, I.O. (1945, February 22)
34-- Wilson, Woodrow (1945, March 8 - April 17)
35-- ______, Marion (1945, February 10 - April 16)
21Printed Materials (1944-1945)
31Miscellaneous (1943 - ca. 1990s)


APPENDIX

Horace Kornegay, interviewed by Kathelene Smith, OH006 Preserving Our History: Rotary Club of Greensboro Oral History Collection, Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, February 28, 2008. Web. Last accessed 3 July 2014. http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/ref/collection/OralHisCo/id/7045

Kornegay, Horace. “Congressman Horace Kornegay.” Freedom’s Heroes. Greensboro: Senior Resources of Guilford, 2002. Web. Last accessed 5 August 2014. http://www.preddy-foundation.org/memorials/congressman-horace-kornegay/

“Kornegay, Horace Robinson, (1924-2009).” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present. Web. Last accessed 3 July 2014. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=K000318